25 August 2012

Tanzania: Sprite Slam NBA Camp Kicks Off in Dar es Salaam

TANZANIAN professional basketball player, Hasheem Thabeet, currently with the Oklahoma City Thunder and fellow NBA player for the Chicago Bulls Luol Deng, on Friday embarked on a two-day Sprite Slam Basketball Camp at the Don Bosco, Upanga, in Dar es Salaam.
The camp has brought together 200 youngsters drawn from selected secondary schools in the region of Dar es Salaam and aims at identifying talent and promoting basketball in Tanzania. This is the second training bonanza sponsored by Sprite this year following a regional clinic that was held at the same venue in June under the tutelage of Hasheem Thabeet.
Thabeet who is the first Tanzanian-born player to be drafted by an NBA team, has shown enormous potential and recently signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) in July 2012. Before joining the OKC, Hasheem played for Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Dakota Wizards (NBA D-League), Houston Rockets (NBA), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA D-League) and Portland Trail Blazers (NBA).
Luol Deng, from Sudanese origin and a recent Olympian, arrived in Dar es Salaam yesterday and expressed his excitement at Sprite and the NBA's invitation to be involved in the youth basketball development programme in Tanzania.
Along with Deng, Hasheem joins his fellow OKC teammate at OKC, Serge Ibaka who is participating in the Sprite Slam Basketball Camp in Congo, to share their skills with basketball youth from the African continent. "Sprite is particularly happy to be involved in the youth basketball program.
It is our sincere hope that our partnership with the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) and the NBA will help to expose talented basketball players and become part and parcel of a successful basketball story in Tanzania", said Brand Manager Coca-Cola Tanzania Salome Mabirizi.
Speaking at the launch of the two-day clinic, Assistant TBF Secretary General Michael Maluwe commended Sprite for their commitment to develop the game through various basketball activities. "I would like to thank Sprite for its continued commitment to grassroots basketball.
I have no doubt that these young players in Tanzania, will make the most of the opportunity here in Dar es Salaam to improve their skill sets under the guidance of NBA players and development coaches," said NBA Vice President for Development in Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall.
"I am pleased that we have some of our top NBA talent in the form of both Hasheem Thabeet and Luol Deng, at this Sprite Slam camp in Tanzania."

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